‘Tis the Season | “Christmas Rappin” & “I Wish It Was Christmas Today”

Ah, Christmas is only a few days away. It’s that time of year where people are frantically trying to get the right gift, but then hopelessly settle on buying a gift card and hoping that will suffice. I mean there’s nothing wrong with a gift card, but I do love when someone puts the effort in and tries to get something that has significance. I mean yeah, I’ve given gift cards before but that’s because I wasn’t in the mood to really show that person I cared. So eh, here’s a gift card.

Now if it’s a gift card for 100 bucks or more, then that’s quite alright with me. That makes up for the lack of a physical gift, but at the end of the day Xmas is just another day to me. It’s not a big deal. This year for Xmas we aren’t doing much because we’ve got bills and other stuff to pay, but I did splurge and buy myself an awesome spin bike off Amazon.com for a steal of $168. I figured it would be a nice present to myself since I’ve been losing weight and so focused on getting in shape. So that’s my Xmas present right there, and my parents are paying off my tuition from last semester…so yeah, that’s way more important than an actual gift.

Even though I may not be having a big Xmas celebration, it still doesn’t mean I’m this Scrooge over here hating on Christmas and all things related to the holiday season. I mean, ’tis the season to be jolly. Plus, I’m a sucker for Christmas movies, especially the ones on Lifetime. There is just something about holiday romance that also intrigues me, especially since I’m always single by choice around certain holidays. Whenever I’m in a relationship it always tends to be a summer thing, something during late spring, or early fall but never making it to thanksgiving or Christmas. I date at the wrong seasons I guess (but that’s surely a post for another day…)

So yeah, not going to lie, I’m a big junkie when it comes to holiday related things. I just love the movies, the atmosphere, and the vibe. However, I do hate some Christmas songs. Some of the traditional songs are good, but I prefer the unconventional songs. Till this day one of my favorite Christmas songs is “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Jimmy Fallon, Tracy Morgan, Horatio, and Chris Kattan. That song is classic! It’s so funny, but then it’s so good that you can’t help but recite it and get in the holiday spirit.

“I Wish It Was Christmas Today” is surely unconventional when it comes to Christmas songs, but lets talk about rappers and the holiday season. I remember for awhile back in the 80s & 90s a lot of artists seemed to come out with holiday related songs & albums. I didn’t really get off into a lot of the holiday songs, but I did really like Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin.” That song worked in my opinion, and better yet, Seamus Haji’s house mix of the song is quite the holiday treat. Seamus Haji did an excellent job of infusing the sounds of house with Kurtis Blow’s holiday rhymes. You’ve got rap, house, and holiday joy coming together on one track. What more could you ask for?

Like I said, I’m not big on Christmas this year, but I do enjoy a good Xmas themed song, movie, or skit.

Seamus Haji vs. Kurtis Blow – “Christmas Rappin” (Seamus Haji Bootleg)

Tracy Morgan’s dancing is so hilarious! It cracks me up every time! Watch both of the videos below. Different episodes and costuming, but the same hilarious dancing.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

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Classic House | Donnie Mark – “Stand Up for The Soul”

Some house tracks have such a spiritual vibe to them. Even if it’s not gospel house, a track can still have this soulful spiritual vibe that gets you into the zone. It’s just something about the soulful vocals that have you singing high praises and shouting hallelujah!

If you’ve got a house track and add the vocals of Barbara Tucker, Kathy Brown, Jocelyn Brown, or Martha Wash, then it’s bound to have this gospel vibe to it. All those leading ladies of house have had there fair share of time being on tracks that are solemnly gospel, so it’s no surprise that that spiritual vibe carries over onto their house tracks. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve cried on Barbara Tucker’s “Most Precious Love.” Man, now that song right their is a revival! Honestly that song is perhaps one of my favorite songs (I’ll post it), along with “Inspiration” by Arnold Jarvis.

Some songs may not feature the big divas of house, but they are still classic tracks. One of those classic spiritual tracks is “Stand Up for The Soul” by Donnie Mark. The track originally came out 1993 on Simply Soul/Submerge Records. It’s one of those tracks you might not have heard unless you’re a major house music junkie and studied the history of house (unless you were alive in that era.) Sadly enough I’m only 20 and wasn’t alive during the days of the Paradise Garage, so my experience with house has been research, research, and appreciation. My constant researching is what makes me such a lover of house music, and I’m so happy when I run across classic tracks such as “Stand Up for The Soul.”

The track is so uplifting. You literally want to just “stand up for the soul.”  It’s a song that you want to listen to when hanging out with your friends or dancing with strangers a club, and the soulful sounds of house serenade your body. Everybody just has to come together for the love of house, for the of the spirit, and for the love of the soul. It’s house music baby. You can’t resist it, it’s a spiritual thang. So don’t let the worries of the day stress you out. The weekend is almost here, you’re alive and well, and at the end of the day you’ve just got to stand up for the feeling, the soul, and for the love of house music. Yeah, now that’s deep…..

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com

Hot New Dance Releases | Nero “Reaching Out” & Perseus ‘Russian Girlfriends’

This week thus far has been great. I’ve written a lot of articles, found amazing videos, caught up with an old friend, played hours of MW3, and listened to some good music. It’s been nice just to enjoy my time off from school and zone out. Nothing to worry about, no stress, no late night cramming. Just me,myself, and good music!

I’ve listened to some amazing songs this week, but the best songs I’ve heard I will say are from French Express.  If you haven’t heard of French Express, then you should check them out. It’s an indie dance record label that is home to some unique artists that produce some tracks that bring a new sound to dance music. It’s not club-hype music, but more so a fusion of electro-pop, nu-wave, house, & dance.

The label has recently released their 10th release, and in celebration they have decided to release Perseus’ Russian Girlfriends EP for free download on soundcloud. On the EP we are granted with three tracks, “Cool Runnings,” “Running Back to You,” and “Russian Girlfriends.” Each track has it’s own unique vibe, but the song “Russian Girlfriends” actually sounds like it was sampled from Spandau Ballet’s classic song “True. That happens to be one of my favorite tracks, so the apparent resemblance is a good thing. Like I said, I’m not quite sure if it’s sampled but the vocals do sound like Spandau Ballet.

The new EP from Perseus is quite a nice holiday delight, but Nero has also provided us with a nice track. “Reaching Out” is off their latest album Welcome Reality (the only dance album to hit #1 in the UK this year.) The London dubstep duo has been making major moves in the dance industry, but by far the best track off their album is “Reaching Out.” The original track is a nice dubstep song that actually features Daryl Hall (you know, from Hall & Oats.) I absolutely love the dubstep version of the song, but the remix by Booka Shade is awesomesauce. I’m a huge fan of Booka Shade, so they can do no wrong in my eyes.  A lot of remixes are out there for this track, but Booka Shade’s remix is hands down the one I’m loving right now.

Nero & Perseus have both delivered some hot new dance releases, so it was hard to decide which one to post. Check out the music below and be sure to go download your free copy of Russian Girlfriends from soundcloud. Click here to download.

©Jasmine McGee.ThinkSoul25. http://thinksoul25.com